Is Carnival Cruise Line Cracking Down On Twerking? Unpacking The Strange Rumor

If you're an avid cruiser, there's a good chance you've taken a trip with Carnival Cruise. Carnival calls itself the "The World's Most Popular Cruise Line” and, as of 2019, carries more passengers per year than any other line (via Gitnux). Previously, we also highlighted the company in our round-up of the best cruise lines for young adults. Carnival is often regarded as a fun, party-centric line, which might explain why millions choose to sail on its cruise ships each year.

Recently, however, there have been rumblings across the internet about Carnival putting a lid on its lively atmosphere. Most surprising was the claim that the cruise company was cracking down on twerking, a style of dance that has become the norm in nightclubs and music videos.

The rumor seems to have started on TikTok after a user named Professor Melissa posted a viral video about changes coming to Carnival ships. She elaborated in a second video featuring footage of a cruise director attempting to stop a twerking passenger during an organized event. Melissa noted in the video that a full twerking ban may not be on the horizon, but she believed the cruise line was axing the dance move during onboard competitions and other family-friendly activities.

Carnival responded to the rumor

In response to Professor Melissa's videos, some commenters seemed to believe that a no-twerking rule would tarnish Carnival Cruise's fun reputation. "No twerking is crazy," wrote one TikToker. "Carnival's new slogan is the 'Not so Fun Ship,'" commented another.

However, nearly two months after Melissa's first video made waves, racking up over 5.7 million views to date, Carnival debunked the rumor with a TikTok clip of its own. "All fiction, no facts," the company captioned the video, along with a yawning emoji. The eight-second snippet shows a group of Carnival staffers twerking on a ship deck while passengers lounge and walk past in the background.

Other social media clips helped put the rumor to rest. For instance, a viral TikTok posted by Blake Roy Butler shows the creator twerking during a Carnival event while onlookers cheer. On YouTube, a slightly older video from 2022 shows a twerk-off competition on a Carnival ship. It's safe to say that twerking always has been, and always will be, welcome on the company's cruises.

However, some of the claims are true

In Professor Melissa's first video, she also shared that Carnival is cracking down on rowdy behavior and drug use. While her observations on twerking may have been misguided, there's some truth to the TikToker's other claims.

In recent years, Carnival has dealt with an uptick in disorderly conduct on its ships, prompting the cruise line to instate a $500 fine for disruptive behavior in 2022. According to its ticket contract, some cruisers could even be detained, removed from ships, and banned from cruises for life if they disturb others on board. In 2023, the company also announced it would use drug-sniffing dogs on some of its ships and at ports to discourage passengers from packing illicit substances.

Carnival's safety policies were detailed in a video posted to YouTube featuring its president, Christine Duffy. "We've all seen the news coverage and social media posts of people behaving badly. It's happening in stores, restaurants, at sporting events ... and, yes, on cruise ships, too," Duffy says, before explaining some of the changes sailers might notice during their journeys, including more security. As she explains, these measures are to ensure a safe environment for families on vacation and other guests on board.